HMS Isis attempts to salvage SS Arne Kjode

The SS Arne Kjode had been torpedoed on 12th November and HMS Isis had picked up survivors on the 14th November. From the Letter of Proceedings made by the commanding officer of HMS Isis:

At daylight 15th November having laid out oil to smooth the seas around the wreck I sent away a boarding party of 5 men under Sub Lieutenant G. H. Evans, Royal Navy. Boarding was effected by using Isis foremast Jacob’s ladder as a scaling ladder which one hand climbed a trailing boats fall to secure. The weather was overcast, wind force 4 and squally, but swell and sea, although breaking and rising, were still moderate when boarding commenced.

The derelict was found to have a good 5 1/2 inch towing hawser. I took her in tow with this tailed by 2 shackles of Isis cable, so that the inboard end of this cable could subsequently be transfered to Guardian to be shackled to the outboard end of her towing wire.

By 11:00 the derelict was in tow at the full span of the derelict’s wire and the cable. With the assistance of oil bags the sea boat was then rehoisted without incident. I was particularly pleased by the good Seamanship displayed by the Boarding Party and Seaboats Crew under the able leadership of Sub Lieutenant Evans.

By the time the tow was passed the wind was force 5 sea becoming rough with a steep swell. Sea and Swell continued to increase and by 13:30 the tow was growing unmanageable. At 13:51 Isis and the tow slid down opposite sides of a heavy swell and the tow parted at one third the length of Isis cable. It appeared as though the towing wire hawser had also parted some 40 fathoms from the tow simultaneously.

Shortly afterwards HMS Guardian came in sight and I closed her to report. The weather made further salvage attempts out of the question, the wind rising to gale force by dusk. In accordance with C in C Rosyth message 1545/15 the derelict was sunk by gunfire at 17:20, the opportunity being taken to exercise director and quarters firing and ammunition supply under gale conditions. Isis then proceeded towards Scapa in company with HMS Guardian.

Loss overboard of Able Seaman Stanley Bromley
I deeply regret to report that Able Seaman Stanley Bromley was lost overboard about 21:00 on 15th November while running before a North Westerly gale off Cape Wrath. His absence was not noticed for some time but search of the ship revealed a lower guard rail whose lanyard had been parted. This was near the After Engine Room hatch, by which he was last seen. The ship had been swept by a single large sea. No cry was heard by men stationed at the After Gun or elsewhere on the Upper deck. It seems probable he was thrown down by the Sea and knocked unconscious before he was swept overboard.

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